Silverlight Toolkit and the Windows Phone: WrapPanel, and a few others

21 March 2010

Are you looking for WrapPanel for your Windows Phone application? Look no further. The Silverlight Toolkit has several controls that work pretty well on the Windows Phone.


I wanted to provide my own informal look at how it’s working with Silverlight for Windows Phone today.

Note that this information is only current as of today, 3/21, when used with the MIX-related CTP of the tools and emulator, and the November 2009 Silverlight Toolkit. A lot could change, and this is not exhaustive.

I’m also including some controls that are found in the Silverlight SDK today. I present these in order of how much I have used the components while building apps.

WrapPanel and DockPanel

Found in the Silverlight Toolkit, System.Windows.Controls.Toolkit.dll (SWC.Toolkit).

Work great.

If you just need the WrapPanel, and don’t want to include the entire toolkit assembly, you can just paste these source files into your application project instead (license: Ms-PL):

Charting and Data Visualization

There is a known issue with LINQ that prevents the controls today from working perfectly. A small, targeted fix has been made in the charting codebase and a future release will work well on the device.

Re-templating and styling the control is very important, and required, for working on the phone in an acceptable manner. I hope to share any decent templates I can come up with.

HeaderedItemsControl, HeaderedContentControl

Work great. Split between System.Windows.Controls (SWC) and SWC.Toolkit.


SWC. Functional; requires massive re-templating and styling. Font sizes are much too small, and the theme and visuals do not appear code-name “Metro” compatible.


Found in the System.Windows.Controls.Input SDK library of the Silverlight 3 SDK.

Works OK, not ready for general development use.

Drop-down appears well. Major features all work. However, touching an entry in the drop down only performs selection. A second touch is required to verify the choice, effectively requiring a double-tap in use.

Calendar, DatePicker

SWC. Limited functionality, too small visually. Not designed for touch – not enough space to reliably click on a date. Require massive re-templating. Do not resemble the same experience as the date picker built into the Windows Phone operating system.


Works, but may pose difficult to use on a device: requires much larger padding and custom templates to make the touch area visible and useful.

Not yet checked

DataGrid, DataPager, ChildWindow, Label, NumericUpDown, DomainUpDown, DataForm, Rating, TimePicker, TimeUpDown, GlobalCalendar, TransitioningContentControl, TreeMap, BusyIndicator, Viewbox, Expander, Accordion, drag and drop features, and many more.

We’re also still developing a story for the toolkit’s phone story moving forward. As there is a lot of momentum around the phone in the company, it’s very likely that some set of phone tools, samples, and toolkits come out.

Hope this helps.

Jeff Wilcox is a Software Engineer at Microsoft in the Open Source Programs Office (OSPO), helping Microsoft engineers use, contribute to and release open source at scale.

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